Ahead of a visit to the campus by prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs told students that he was as bewildered as they were that the law required the school to be a haven for free speech. In a statement that does not speak glowingly about the state of education at UF, Fuchs assured the students that he would have done anything in his power to keep Spencer away.
“If you are like me, I expect you are surprised and even shocked to learn that UF is required by law to allow Mr. Spencer to speak his racist views on our campus,” Fuchs wrote, according to Campus Reform.
Spencer is scheduled to deliver his speech on October 19. That is a re-scheduled date, because Spencer had originally planned to visit the campus last month. He was denied a permit by Fuchs at that time. Spencer responded with the threat of a federal lawsuit, and the UF administration subsequently gave in.
In his statement, Fuchs asked the students to deny Spencer any extra publicity.
“Do not provide Mr. Spencer and his followers the spotlight they are seeking,” he said. “By shunning him and his followers, we will block his attempt for further visibility.”
That’s probably good advice, but Fuchs’ understanding of the First Amendment is not acceptable. Perhaps it is informed by one of his law professors, a Mr. Kenneth Nunn, who said in an October 11 conference that he really didn’t believe there WAS such a thing as free speech.
From Campus Reform:
During that conversation, UF Law Professor Kenneth Nunn declared himself a “First Amendment radical,” asserting that he doesn’t “think there is any such thing as free speech,” that “words can and do hurt,” and that UF should take action to “confront hate speech” beyond merely promoting a “marketplace of ideas.”
Nunn also asserted that hateful speech can inflict “significant harms” on those targeted by it, including physical harms.
“[People] become depressed, people use drugs, people have damage to their self image. Sometimes as a consequence of that they wind up committing suicide,” he told the audience. “There’s poor performance in school, poor performance in work, people get high blood pressure, people suffer from stress. And so we have some significant harms that come from the use of speech, particularly speech when you talk about people and you say hurtful and hateful things as a consequence of that.”
Sorry, but free speech is not contingent on its effects. If you get offended, that’s on you. We cannot become a society where we craft our laws based around the most fragile citizens. It raises OUR blood pressure to hear law professors talk about limiting free speech just so some privileged Millennials don’t have to hear ideas with which they disagree.
It’s almost impossible to give white supremacists the moral high ground. Somehow, though, in their unending quest to be the most insane people in the country, these fascist liberals have found a way to do just that.